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Departmental Official Visits

Volume 473: debated on Friday 14 March 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the cost was of overnight accommodation for (a) civil servants, (b) special advisers and (c) Ministers in his Department staying overnight in (i) mainland Great Britain, (ii) Northern Ireland, (iii) the Republic of Ireland and (iv) other countries in the last 12 months. (193528)

This information is not held centrally in the form requested and could be provided only at disproportionate cost. However, the Ministry of Defence operates a Central Hotel Booking Service, which accounts for the great majority of all temporary overnight hotel requirements for civil servants, special advisers and Ministers. For the period from March 2007 to February 2008, the total civilian bookings through the Central Hotel Booking Service contract were £12.9 million.

These figures do not cover cases where, for instance, costs of accommodation may be included within a training cost or otherwise be paid for direct by budget holders; or where private arrangements are made and costs reclaimed locally overseas. Nor does the figure include non-departmental public bodies which do not use the contract.

In addition the cost of claims made by civilian staff through the central travel and subsistence service for local accommodation outside the Central Hotel Booking Service in 2006-07 was £2.15 million.